The High Court in Pretoria in Benoni has handed down a 15-year direct imprisonment sentence to a 26-year-old Duduza man for murder. IOL reports that the court also imposed five years for defeating the administration of justice. Lumka Mahanjana, Gauteng spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), stated that the sentences would run concurrently, and Lundokuhle Innocent Radebe would be declared unfit to possess a firearm.
“The deceased, Thandeka Precius Tshabalala, 20, was in a relationship with Radebe. In the early hours of the morning of November 22, 2021, while the two were at Radebe’s place of residence in Duduza, Radebe strangled Thandeka to death,” said Mahanjana.
Following the act, he promptly called the police. After law enforcement agents arrived, Radebe reported that Thandeka had committed suicide. He claimed he had found her body tied with a cord around her neck.
“After the body of the deceased was examined by the pathologist it was discovered that the deceased had been strangled. Radebe was arrested on December 1, 2021, at his place of residence,” said Mahanjana.
Radebe, through his legal representative, sought a deviation from the prescribed minimum sentence for murder, proposing a 10-year sentence due to his lack of previous convictions and the responsibility of caring for his 16-year-old sibling.
In response, State prosecutor advocate Vusumzi Tshabalala argued that a significant amount of violence was used in the murder, resulting in broken bones in Thandeka’s neck. He emphasised the case as a typical femicide, robbing the 20-year-old victim of her life and causing trauma to her family.
“Tshabalala urged the court not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of 15 years’ of direct imprisonment. When handing down sentence, Judge Van Veenendaal said gender-based violence (GBV) is a big pandemic in South Africa and that men should learn to respect women,” Mahanjana stated.
Moreover, the judge noted Radebe’s lack of remorse, concluding that there were no substantial or compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence.
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